The Send Button

May 31, 2017
by Lynne Phipps

James 1:19 – My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (NIV)

My daughter bought me an iPad for Christmas two years ago, and I love its convenience. I use it all the time and keep it close by so that I can text her or respond to emails as necessary. My cat, Duffy, however, seems to get annoyed when I am using it and he wants my attention. I will be busily typing away at a communication when suddenly, he reaches out and taps the send button with his paw. And zip, the unfinished email goes flying off into space. The first time that he did this, I thought that it was just a fluke. But when he started to do it regularly, always tapping the send button each and every time, I gave up on that notion! It appears that he has effectively learned how to butt in on my cyber conversations, which is most annoying.

I have to admit, however, that this unusual behaviour of Duffy's did cause me to consider something else: How often do I interrupt others amidst their conversations, to get in my point of view? Guilty as charged, I thought. In fact, butting in while others are speaking seems to be a national pastime. The majority of us are all guilty of this crime against proper and polite social etiquette. We are not quick to listen and slow to speak as James exhorts us to live. We tend to be slow to listen and quick to speak, which, in turn, often offends others and may cause strife or hurt feelings where anger can prevail. I know that I certainly don't like it when someone does it to me, and I bet that you don't like it any better than I do when it is done to you.

So now, when Duffy creeps up for a snuggle and reaches out to tap the send button when I am on my iPad, I am ready for him. I quickly thrust my arm between him and the iPad before he can butt in, but I also find myself sending up this silent prayer: Lord, make me a person who is quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. How about you?

By the way, is there anyone out there who would like to rent Duffy for awhile in order to be reminded of our brother James' words?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the wondrous and sometimes even hilarious ways that You get Your point across to us, Your people. May we seek to employ the truth of Your Word in our lives day by day, that we may be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry … or cause others to be angry against us. In the precious name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Cats are interesting. A good word.


    Clever use for an analogy. Keep writing.
    Love and blessings.


    Hi
    Blessings to you as your devotions are a blessing to me.


    Good Morning Lynne! Thank you for my morning smile …… accompanied by a wealth of wisdom! I will forward this to our lay readers, for discussion at our next meeting?
    Blessings.


    Lynne this one put a smile on my face – really cute! You might get a long waiting list of readers who want to rent Duffy, including myself. Good lesson for all of us to learn.
    Blessings.


    I am typing this to you one-handed as a cat rests on my chest for her morning snuggle! Thank you for your wise reminder this morning. I find many of your devotions speak to my life and heart. Blessings.


    Thanks for this amusing and thought-provoking devotional. I’m guilty too, at Bible study we were all doing it!
    Today I’m going to listen! Bless you for your faithfulness.
    (BC)


    Hi Lynne.
    Thanks, great devotion, I personally keep this scripture verse on my fridge and still don’t heed it often enough… Renting out Duffy sounds like a fun idea
    Blessings.


    Awesome devotional. I’m sure that if you rent Duffy out to someone, that you would miss him lots. I love the simplicity and down to earth writing about the episode. It is every day situations like yours that people understand and relate to. In this way, it brings the scriptures alive.
    Thank you.


    Hi Lynne
    When I am using my iPad, I sometimes have 3 of these furry bundles of joy and one, very much like your Duffy, trying to get me to stop.
    I thank you for your very wise words. I must remember to follow them.
    God bless you and yours.


    Lynne, what are you doing stepping on my toes? This is a big OWEEEEE!!! Oh well, as you say, we’re all guilty but don’t want to. A member of my family is the worst and then gets upset if I mention it. No winner in this one, and I must say that I am working on it. Thanks for reminding me.
    God loves you and so do I,
    (Cal.)


    Hi Lynne,
    I am prepared to pay the shipping costs for Duffy’s travel, if you’d please also let me know his favourite dinner and munchies. I need him to be with me for lessons to be learned! And I’m a slow learner so it’s likely to be an extended stay.
    Thank you for the (very much) needed lesson today. I truly appreciate your Devotional’s.
    All blessings.


    Dear Lynne,
    Some scattered thoughts:
    Your cat wants some personal attention without you giving it all away to the gadget. I wonder if persons who live together might be wanting sometimes to paw the gadget out of their associates’ hands.
    I, to date, have not used an ipad.
    I enjoy your sense of humor today.
    There are no technological interferences between our person to person communications with God. I thank God for the instantaneous “send” and “receive: with Him.
    Keep writing.


    Oh how true Lynne. And because we want to jump in and add our opinion, we are thinking of that opinion and how we will jump into the conversation and are not considering or even listening to what the other people are saying.
    Then we wonder why others don’t know where we are coming from, when what we added as nothing to do with topic under discussion. We need to be silent and hear not only the words spoken but the underlying means and hurts if we are to be Christ to/for others.
    I would rent your cat, but my husband would not appreciate the stuffed up nose and itchy eyes.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lynn,
    Thank you for a most amusing and on point devotional. Perhaps nowhere is the erosion of these basic Christian values in our society more evident than in our personal and public discourse which seems to focus and even reward quick, harsh words and anger – just look who is on the evening news. I feel tempted to print cards with this passage from James and hand them out at the beginning of any discussion I am in.
    Your cat’s behavior calls to mind the whole Planet of the Apes movie series where the animals learn to think and master human technology. Perhaps Hollywood is not so farfetched!
    Grace and peace be with you.


    Lynne, thanks for that Duffy story, that is hilarious
    Our animals have so much to teach us. I sure need Duffy’s teaching today.
    And on the cat behaviour side, my cat gets on my keyboard and more than once downloaded an update!
    When my techie is in he gets on the desk and watches everything he does. Worrisome right?
    And when the Bell technician was here I saw him heading down the hall with a bag handle around his neck.
    Worried I looked for him and saw him wandering without the bag. Found it 2 weeks later, under my desk with phone jacks and a set of shoe covers.
    The others have their ways as well.
    I think what they are teaching me is patience and yes how deal with anger.
    Love your sharing always.


    Hi Lynn,
    Thank you for your devotional. We don’t have any pets but I myself have on occasion, inadvertently sent half, or less, completed messages by hitting some key.
    Slow to speak is a good thing. Speech is like toothpaste, once it is out you can’t put it back again.
    Blessings.


    Good Morning Lynne,
    I so enjoyed your message. When Jeff had a stroke it hit his speech centre and he woke up unable to utter a single sound. Ten years have passed and he is able to speak freely once again. His biggest frustration has been people interrupting him while he is talking, so your message struck a personal chord with me – I sometimes find myself guilty of predicting the end of the sentence and jumping right in before he has finished his thought – a rude and disrespectful habit that certainly has caused hurt feelings and needless frustration. We live in a fast-paced world and conversations flow very quickly and it is hard to slow down and really listen. Your message, and James words, are a timely reminder to me to be intentionally quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry throughout my daily interactions with everyone I meet.
    As always you’ve made this message palatable, relevant, and fun!
    Blessings to you.

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